The Duke and Duchess of Sussex spent their first holiday season as a family of three with son Archie on Vancouver Island

By Erin Hill and Simon Perry
January 07, 2020 11:42 AM

Fresh off their holiday on Vancouver Island in Canada, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were all smiles as they stepped out in London on Tuesday to pay tribute to their host country.

The royal couple visited Canada House, the home of the High Commission of Canada to the U.K., to show their appreciation for what the couple’s office said was “the warm Canadian hospitality and support they received during their recent stay.”

As they thanked the staff inside, Meghan revealed that Archie was in awe of the natural beauty of Canada.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex also chatted with well-wishers and employees who gathered outside to greet them.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

“Meghan said it was beautiful,” says Jamie Weare, from Ontario. “They seemed really relaxed and happy.”

“Harry said it was raining a lot of the time in Vancouver,” Weare adds — but one of her colleagues pointed out that the prince laughed so he may have been joking.

Adds her colleague Sumira Osmin, “They are just beautiful and just their aura…they are always so positive and very friendly.”

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
Aaron Chown/PA Images via Getty
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

Harry, 35, and Meghan, 38, spent their first holiday season as a family of three with son Archie, 8 months, on Vancouver Island. The palace confirmed that the family were “spending private family time in Canada” ahead of Christmas.

The couple have history with the North American country, which is part of the Commonwealth, a group of nations with close ties to the Crown. Meghan called Toronto home for years while she filmed her hit USA legal drama Suits, and she was living there when she and Harry first began dating. The couple’s first public appearance together was in support of Harry’s Invictus Games in Toronto in 2017.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Samir Hussein/WireImage

The couple were joined by Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, on their trip, as well as a few close friends, including Meghan’s former Suits co-star Abigail Spencer and actress Janina Gavankar. Spencer also joined the couple on a New Year’s Day hike at Horth Hill Regional Park, where the royal mom helped a couple struggling to take a selfie.

Prince Harry with son Archie
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“She was super friendly and down to earth,” says Asymina Kantorowicz, 29, who was attempting to use a selfie stick with her boyfriend Iliya Pavlovic, 29, when Meghan approached. “She was just enjoying her New Year’s hike with her husband and friend. She and Harry seemed really happy—like a happy newly married couple.”

Janice Charette, High Commissioner in Canada to the U.K. said she was “thrilled” the couple had been able to relax and enjoy the area around Vancouver Island.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

“The fact that they were able to be there for an extended period of time and be able to enjoy themselves without people coming and invading their space. I am thrilled about that,” she said.

Of the couple’s tour of Canada House, she said: “It was a great visit with their Royal Highnesses. It was a chance to catch up and hear a bit about their visit to Canada and their holidays and their impressions. And also talk a bit about what they see in terms of their priorities for the next year. There’s a lot of areas where they have interest which are also priorities for Canada.”